Wednesday, August 27, 2014

When did manners become UNCOOL?

When did manners become a thing of the past and rudeness become so acceptable?  Am I one of the few people that still get excited over people, ESPECIALLY CHILDREN, with good manners?  I’m starting to feel more and more that I am.

I know my children are FAR from perfect and I have no problem whatsoever admitting that.  As Christian parents, we are each called to “train up a child in the way he should go” Proverbs 22:6.  I work daily toward them being respectable adults when they are no longer living under my roof.  As a parent, I expect them to use manners and be respectful of others and their property.  If they do not use their manners, then I will say “excuse me?” and that is typically all it takes for them to correct themselves.  Good manners go far beyond please, thank you, yes/no sir/ma’am.  It is simple respect!
A few pet peeves I have where manners and respect are concerned:

1.  Showing up at someone’s house unannounced – this is one of those things people do all the time, which just blows me away.  I just can’t imagine rolling up to someone’s door and they not know that I’m coming.  You never know what they have going on that you’ve just interrupted.

2.  Kids inviting themselves over.  This is a huge one for me!  Don’t get me wrong, I love having company over; just when I invite them.  I know “kids will be kids”, but that doesn’t make it acceptable.  When those kids become an adult, they aren’t going to get away with things just because “adults will be adults”.
·        Why do parents not explain to their children that is rude behavior?  My children have had it drilled into their heads that we are NOT EVER supposed to invite ourselves over to someone’s house (friends or family).  It’s just rude in my opinion.  You are putting someone in the awkward position to not comfortably be able to say no.  This is a case of “do unto others as you’d want done to you”.

·        I wonder do their parents just want to get rid of their child so badly that they dismiss the rudeness or are they just oblivious?  It makes me sad.

3.  Kids interrupting adults when they are speaking and/or being just blatantly disrespectful.  I don’t think kids should be afraid of superiors, but they should have respect for them.  If an adult asks a child to stop doing something, they should stop regardless of whether it’s their parent or another adult.

4.  Kids saying rude or inappropriate things and parents not correcting their children.  Name calling is a big no-no at our house.  Words I hear kids using regularly are like cuss words in our house.  (ex: dumb, stupid, idiot, jerk, I hate….)  Why would this be okay to anyone?  No one, adult or child, wants to be called names so why not correct it?  I’m a big proponent of using vinegar to break habits involving my children’s mouth and I’ve had pretty good success with it.
Our children are sponges.  They observe our behavior and they mimic it in theirs.  I have seen things in my children that I don’t find appealing and then realized they picked that up from me.  I quickly correct that behavior and sit them down and explain that yes, mommy may have been acting like that, but it’s not acceptable and we won’t be acting like that anymore.  Admitting, as a parent, that we did wrong is a great way to teach our children.  It may not be easy but it is important.  We’re not perfect and they need to know that we make mistakes too.  We just have to instill in them that you can admit your wrongs (sin) and learn from it to make better choices.
I want to know that when my children leave home one day that they are going to enter the world prepared to be respectful adults.  I want them to have the ability to interact with other adults in a way that is respectful.  Employers aren’t looking for rude people to hire.  Men/women aren’t looking for rude people to bring home to meet their parents and eventually marry.  Children don’t want rude parents to embarrass them when they are out in public.  I pray that one day my children will look back on my “annoying” rules and be grateful that they are the well mannered adults they were raised to be because I “trained up my child in the way he should go” Proverbs 22:6.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Church Camp

Ashton went to church camp for the first time the week before school started back.  He was extremely excited about it leading all the way up until the night before.  He called me upstairs and told me that he was praying that Monday wouldn’t come because he didn’t want to leave anymore.  ;(  I was so sad for him.  I knew once he got there he would have a great time, but he was nervous.  Monday morning rolled around and he was still a little apprehensive and got a little upset at time to go meet the crew at church.  Once we got there though, all his gitters were gone.  He told me just the other day that the ride to the church was horrible but worth it because he had so much fun and was glad he went.  It made me so happy to hear. This is the crew he went with. 
There were 19 kids that left on Monday and on Tuesday another one of their friends joined them.

Each day the kids got TAG (time alone with God) time.

Soccer was just one of Ashton's rec choices.  Archery was his favorite, but we didn't get a picture of him doing it.  He is hoping that he will get to buy a bow and arrow set for home soon.  We shall see about that one.... ;)

Happy Birthday Maddie!

It's a little hard to believe Maddie is 8 years old! She decided she wanted to have another spa party this year.  We soaked our fingers, painted our nails, put "green" scrub on our faces and cucumbers on our eyes and then finished up with warm cloths to wash it all off.
 The girls had a fun time and there were lots of laughs, especially where the cucumbers were involved.
 The warm wash cloths may have been the biggest hit.  Maddie said it made her feel like she was REALLY at the spa. (As if she knows what that really means.)

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Sunday Morning Zeal

So, I’ve been noticing and thinking about this for a while, just didn’t really know where to start.  I’m kind of sad.  There is such a lack of zeal for God’s word within the church.  I look forward to being at church EVERY SUNDAY morning.  (I also look forward to my bible study with other women each week and my community group every other week.)  I feel completely lost when I have to stay home with a sick child or I’m sick myself.  I don’t know if it’s a lack of accountability, a lack of desire, plain laziness or what? Don’t get me wrong. there are Saturday nights that I stay up too late and I really would love to sleep in or weekends I have a million things to do and if I could just stay home without the rest of my family, I could get so much done, but  I don’t want to.  I  WANT TO GO TO CHURCH!!  Not, just because bible calls us to fellowship with other believers.
Hebrews 10:24-25  And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works,  NOT neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
Our family schedule revolves around church.  We don’t make ANY plans on Sunday morning.  We might rush to leave afterwards from time to time to be somewhere but we don’t skip to go do “fun” activities instead.  I’m not saying this to place judgment on anyone that does, just that is kind of makes me wonder.  Everyone makes their own choices, but we choose to be at church on Sunday mornings and not be in other places.  If we’re out of town, we can’t wait for the sermon to be posted online so we can catch up because it just feels weird to not hear the sermon and even stranger to not to be around those we surround ourselves with each week.  It is like an extended family.  I love these people!
I wish everyone shared my zeal for Christ!  It has me thinking a lot about why they don’t?  What needs to happen for them to have that in their lives?  Could I do something to help change their perspective?  Is God prompting me in some way by placing this topic on my mind a lot lately?  I just don’t know.  I do know that I am going to continue praying about it.  I pray that God would reveal to me how I can encourage others.  Don’t just stop with being at church some times.  Be there every week, be involved in community groups and find other opportunities to surround yourselves with fellow believers.  Trust me, it will not be a waste.  You will be richly blessed and so will those around you!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Spring Break 2014

Spring break went by really quick this year.  I feel like they got out and then it was over!  We didn't go anywhere this year, but that didn't mean we didn't have a little fun.

 Ashton and Maddie played "hockey school" which was a mixture of each ones favorite thing to play.  I thought that was pretty clever on their part. :)
We went to see Mr. Peabody and Sherman.

Alex took Ashton and Ian to play some roller hockey in Hendersonville while Maddie and her friend Adelyn hung out at our house and played.


We had our first experience at Sky High and the kids LOVED LOVED it.
There were lots of other things we did too, but these are just some of the highlights.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

One year has come and gone

It is so hard to believe that it has been one year since my mom was taken from this earth.  I have spent a lot of time over the last couple of weeks, especially, thinking and praying for God's peace and comfort for me, as well as for my brothers and sister.  We all had our own unique relationship with Mama, but it hurts the same that she is no longer here.
Yesterday was nothing like I expected it would be.  I planned a day out with the kids because I didn't want to be cooped up in this house with my thoughts.  Those plans quickly changed because of the weather (yet something else I have NO control over).  I adjusted our plans and we proceeded about our day.  I just didn't want to be at home and most definitely didn't want to be alone.  I wanted to stay busy and avoid dealing with reality as much as possible.  However, reality set in fast when our outing was over and we were back home.  The kids took off to play and do their own thing, Alex was still at work and I was left with just me.  The reality was, I was alone!  Alone with my thoughts and feelings and I must admit, it was AWFUL!!!
I was sad for so many reasons.  My mom is gone.  I can't just call her when I want to.  I can't fix what was broken in our relationship or apologize for all the times I was stubborn or hardheaded, as she so frequently called me.  Holidays, birthdays, and special occasions will come and go and she will never have the chance to be apart of any of them.  Ashton and Maddie will never get to know her as I remembered her as a kid.  Life happens and I some times catch myself wondering if Casey has told her about "that", whatever it happens to be at the time.  I randomly think about something she might cook and think, "I'll just text her and ask for it.", then remember I can't.  It all just makes me sad!
It makes me sad that people avoid the topic.  I realize that people don't like awkward, uncomfortable conversations or crying and death isn't a topic everyone is just excited to talk about, but it's real.  It's real for me.  Some times I want to just talk about it and get it off my chest.  Some times I want advice on how to deal with how I am feeling.  Some times I want to just cry and have some one sitting there to lean on while I get it all out.
Yesterday I was just disappointed!  I was disappointed because my mom's life ended so unexpectedly and I didn't get that one last chance to tell her so many things I wish I could've told her.  I was disappointed because I don't remember the last time I told her how much I loved her.  I was disappointed because, though I know in my head, that God has a plan it doesn't make it any less painful that she is gone and I don't quite see the plan in that.  I was disappointed because I wasn't the fun mom my kids deserve and expected yesterday.  I was disappointed because I got upset and yelled at Maddie, which scared her and made her cry.  I was disappointed because people I thought would be there, weren't.  I just went to bed last night disappointed and defeated.
The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.
Psalm 34:18
This morning I woke up and really just wanted to roll back over.  I didn't want to face another day of disappointment and sadness.  I forced myself to get up and headed for the gym, knowing I'd feel better afterwards.  My friend text me on the way saying she couldn't make it, but I was already in route and so I went on.  Alone with my thoughts and worship music, I sensed God telling me I have no right to be disappointed.  What?!?!?!  I am having a PPC (pity party for Courtney) here.  I was expecting to be showered with calls, texts, prayers and love from "people" to help me get thru the day because I didn't think I had the strength to do it without them.  BUT I WAS WRONG!  I can't expect people to meet all my expectations. All I really needed, I had the whole time.  God is always there and has been there the entire time.  HE got me through.  I spent the day placing my expectations and hopes on earthly things and earthly people when I should have been fully relying on my Heavenly Father instead.
Cast your burdens on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.
Psalm 55:22
So, to the people that I placed my unfair expectations, I apologize! I apologize for feeling like you let me down, when it was never your job in the first place.  I love you all and appreciate all the support you have given to me over the last year. I have learned a lot about myself and I continue to learn more.  I am a lot stronger than I ever thought I could be.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Maddie's first cavity

Maddie had her teeth cleaned last month and they determined she had a small cavity forming between two of her back teeth.  They decided it would be best to go ahead and fill it so that it didn't get worse.  Maddie wasn't really sure what to expect.  The dentist decided with her anxiety, he'd give her gas to make things easier.
We kept trying to convince her to just go to sleep but she just wouldn't do it.  She laid there with a death grip on my hand the entire time.
Hopefully, we won't have to do this again.  She is brushing extra now because she didn't like it and would rather not have to go back.  :)